Costa Rica’s Christiana Figueres honored for UN climate work

December 17, 2015

Costa Rican Christiana Figueres was awarded the Medal of Paris on Wednesday for helping broker the historic, 195-nation deal to avert climate change that was sealed in the French capital last week.

Figueres, who is the daughter of Costa Rica’s revolutionary leader and three-time president, José “Pepe” Figueres, is executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo presented Figueres the award a few days after the close of the U.N. climate conference known as COP21.

“Happy and proud to have awarded the medal of the city of Paris to Christiana Figueres, a great lady without which the agreement of the COP21 concluded in Paris, would not have been possible,” Hidalgo wrote on her Facebook page.

Anne Hidalgo and Christiana Figueres
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo hugs Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (Via Facebook)

As the U.N.’s climate chief, Figueres has spent the last five years trying to get U.N. member states closer to an agreement on averting climate disaster, and on Saturday, after nearly a fortnight of grueling negotiations, representatives of nearly 200 countries came to a consensus on a new climate pact.

The deal, which takes effect in 2020, sets a target of limiting warming of the planet to below 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial levels, while aiming for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5 C temperature rise.

Costa Rica has pledged to become carbon neutral — meaning greenhouse gas emissions would be cancelled out by carbon sequestration — by 2085. Reforming the country’s transportation sector is key to achieving that goal.

Besides the recognition for Figueres, Paris honored Costa Rica’s commitment to renewable energy during the climate conference by lighting up the Eiffel Tower on Nov. 30 with the phrase “100% Pura Vida.”

Figueres was part of Costa Rica’s international climate change negotiating team before taking the job as U.N. climate chief.

You may be interested

Therapeutic abortion, part II: paper vs. practice
Therapeutic Abortion
337 views
Therapeutic Abortion
337 views

Therapeutic abortion, part II: paper vs. practice

Paula Umaña - February 22, 2018

Part II of a three-part series published in English at The Tico Times by permission of journalism student Paula Umaña;…

Costa Rican scientists discover new bacteria
Science & Tech
512 views
Science & Tech
512 views

Costa Rican scientists discover new bacteria

Katherine Stanley - February 22, 2018

You know you've made it when you've got a strain of Listeria named after you. "Listeria costaricensis" is the official…

Panama firm pleads guilty in FIFA corruption scandal
FIFA
404 views
FIFA
404 views

Panama firm pleads guilty in FIFA corruption scandal

AFP - February 22, 2018

NEW YORK – A Panamanian company that imports and exports soccer uniforms pleaded guilty on Wednesday in New York to…